OAQ announces award winners

The Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ) has announced the winners of the 2023 awards of excellence, honoring 11 outstanding projects and 4 individuals/firms for their commitments to inclusivity and quality in Quebec architecture.



Design: Kuehn Malvezzi / Pelletier De Fontenay / Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes in consortium

Client: Space for Life

Location: Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montreal

Photos: James Brittain


This year, the jury chose to award two Grand Prix d’excellence, including one for the Insectarium de Montréal metamorphosis, and one for renovations to the Centre culturel Desjardins in Joliette. The redesign of the Insectarium, part of the Space for Life complex and carried out in consortium by Kuehn Malvezzi / Pelletier De Fontenay / Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes, lends true meaning to the notion of biophilic design. The jury was impressed by the immersive exhibition route, part of which invites visitors to discover insects through the perspective of their environment. They also praised the architects for resolving the technical challenges involved in transforming the museum experience, and noted the strong synergy between the landscape and the building’s architecture, which ensures its integration with the Botanical Garden grounds.



Design: Atelier TAG


Location: Joliette, Lanaudière

Photos: Adrien Williams


The jury awarded its second Grand Prix d’excellence to the Centre culturel Desjardins renovation, designed by Atelier TAG. The outcome of careful study of the original plans, photos, and still-visible features of the former Académie Saint-Viateur de Joliette, this heritage building redevelopment was orchestrated with equal parts invention, respect, and finesse. Among other things, the jury hailed the high-quality restoration of the Beaux-Arts–style auditorium, which preserves the aesthetic and acoustic qualities of the original moldings.



Design: ACDF Architecture

Client: Collège Notre-Dame

Location: Montreal

Photos: ACDF Architecture

The Prix du public (determined after a public voting period) went to the new sports and culture centre at Collège Notre-Dame, designed by ACDF Architecture.

Four individual distinctions were also handed out, recognizing people and firms for their commitments to inclusivity and quality in Quebec architecture. The Médaille du Mérite, the OAQ’s highest distinction, was awarded posthumously to architect Claude Provencher, regarded as a pioneer of the new urban architecture of the late 1970s. Attentive to the economic and social context, Provencher helped created living environments respectful of citizens and the surrounding built fabric through architecture that was inclusive, meaningful, and durable, and in which the human experience remained paramount.

The Engagement social prize was presented to Lafond Côté Architectes, a group of architects renowned for its many community-centric projects. The first architecture office in the Quebec City region to design co-housing developments, it has contributed to the mission of Action Habitation for the past 20 years, which provides decent, affordable housing to vulnerable populations.

NÓS, whose professional engagement is informed by a desire to convey a renewed vision of the profession as a leader in defining the experience of the city, received the Relève en architecture prize (for emerging architects). The firm’s involvement in architecture research and teaching, as well as the socially conscious and innovative nature of its practice, are inspiring for the next generation.

The Ambassadeur de la qualité en architecture prize (awarded to a non-architect who champions architectural quality) went to Marie-Josée Lacroix, the City of Montreal’s first design commissioner, for her role in raising the profile of the city along with awareness of the importance of architecture and Montrealers’ daily living environments. Among other achievements, she oversaw the preparation of Montreal’s candidacy for UNESCO City of Design status, awarded in 2006. Another important part of her legacy is the Montréal 2030 Agenda for Quality and Exemplarity in Design and Architecture, a landmark document that calls for the strategic, cross-cutting integration of design quality processes into all municipal practices.

The jury for the 2023 Prix d’excellence was chaired by architect and urban planner Renée Daoust, Senior Partner, Daoust Lestage Lizotte + Stecker Architecture. Laure Waridel, eco-sociologist, associate professor at the UQAM Institute of Environmental Sciences, and columnist for the Journal de Montréal, was invited as the public representative. The jury also included architects Isabelle Beauchamp (Blouin Tardif Architectes), Rami Bebawi (KANVA Architecture), and Vladimir Topouzanov (Saia Barbarese Topouzanov architectes).

The OAQ eliminated traditional prize categories this year to allow for a greater number of projects to be eligible, and applications were evaluated as a whole using criteria that reflect the OAQ’s vision of socio-ecological transition. The ceremony took place in Montreal and was emceed by Jean-René Dufort.

The other winning projects are:


Design: Atelier Pierre Thibault

Client: Collège Durocher Saint-Lambert

Location: Saint-Lambert, Montérégie

Photos: Maxime Brouillet



Design: Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux | Lemay | NFOE Architectes

Client: Université de Montréal

Location: Outremont, Montreal

Photos: Stéphane Brügger


Design: Les architectes FABG

Client: City of Montreal

Location: Montreal

Photos: Steve Montpetit


Design: Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Client: Université de Sherbrooke

Location: Sherbrooke, Estrie

Photos: Olivier Blouin



Design: yh2 – Yiacouvakis Hamelin Architectes

Clients: Lisa Wolofsky and Joey Mastrogiuseppe

Location: Montreal

Photos: Maxime Brouillet


Design: La Shed Architecture

Clients: Valérie Zaphiratos and Félix Robitaille

Location: Montreal

Photos: Maxime Brouillet


Design: Studio Jean Verville architectes

Clients: Benjamin Boller and Mathieu Denécheau

Location: Montreal

Photos: Maxime Brouillet